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Story last updated: 10 May 2004 0817 BST Printable version of this page
Help shape the cultural landscape
Kuumba logo  

If you think you know more about what the people of Bristol want from an arts centre than a bunch of politicians, then here's a chance to stand up and be counted.

Building on its 30 years’ experience supporting African and Caribbean arts, Kuumba plans to establish a new arts venue in the heart of Stokes Croft.

The Kuumba organisation is celebrates its 30th anniversary this year

The vision is for a high quality new venue, with a year-round programme of traditional and contemporary music, theatre, dance, comedy and other performing arts.

Equally important is a chance for people of all ages to participate in arts workshops and activities.

The new £5 million centre will also be a focus for other events, such as those around carnival time and for several new film, music and literature festivals that are planned.

It will be open to the public day and night, creating an exciting new arts and cultural landmark at the gateway to the city centre.

Formed in 1974, Kuumba is the only African Caribbean resource centre in the south west and aims to promote African Caribbean arts activities and encourage greater access to the arts.

Derelict land

It has been working on acquiring and building on derelict land in Stokes Croft since 1979, but problems have dragged on and it is only now that things have become more positive.

Kuumba building
Kuumba's present buildings are in Hepburn Road, St Paul's

Kuumba's lead consultant, David Drake said that it now looked as if the site could be acquired and work started within the next 18 months, with the centre open to the public in 2006.

"It's an ambitious project, but it's something Bristol needs and will celebrate," he told the BBC Bristol website.

"This idea of a venue is a dream for the organisation and we hope it will become a reality in the next three years."

The Arts Council has already pledged £2.1m to the project and additional funding will come from Bristol City Council and other agencies.

The centre is seen as a major resource for the Stokes Croft area and will help expand the city centre.


Kuumba is currently trying to find out what people who will use the venue, and those who might be encouraged into coming along, actually want from an arts centre.

Over the next few weeks researchers will be out on the streets and in pubs, clubs and other city venues, polling people about their views.

If you want to take part and have your say, simply send an e-mail to Kuumba or telephone Samantha on 01934 751009.

Alternatively, you can pick up and fill in a form at Kuumba’s offices at 20-23 Hepburn Road, Stokes Croft. The survey takes only a few minutes and details of your name and address are not required.

  Kuumba website

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